What is the Difference Between Occupational and Physiotherapy? | MyCareSpace

Is Physiotherapy funded for Cerebral Palsy in the NDIS?

A physiotherapist working with a young boy with cerebral palsy

NDIS + Cerebral Palsy

An NDIS plan for an adult or child with cerebral palsy will almost always include funding for physiotherapy under its Capacity Building section.

This part of NDIS funding is used to help a Participant with cerebral palsy reach their goals of improved mobility and independence. It will also help improve communication and social skills needed for social participation and employment.


What does a physiotherapist do for people with cerebral palsy?

Physiotherapists focus on improving the gross motor skills that help a person with cerebral palsy perform daily functions. They will also help prevent movement problems from getting worse over time.

Gross motor skills are those that need full body movement and involve the big muscles of the body.

A physiotherapist will help a person with cerebral palsy with everyday functions including:

  • sitting upright
  • standing
  • walking
  • running 
  • hand-eye coordination
  • ball skills.

Without gross motor skills, people with cerebral palsy will have trouble interacting with friends in the community, playing sports, or just moving around.


Benefits of Physiotherapy for Cerebral Palsy

They will develop a specialised treatment program for a person with cerebral palsy based on the specific needs of a participant.

Their plan is aimed at improving the person's ability to be as mobile and independent as possible in order to reach their NDIS goals.

Physiotherapists are often able to analyse a person with cerebral palsy's impairment from a biomechanical perspective.

They then work to improve the impairment itself by:

  • increasing mobility,
  • aligning bones and joints and/or
  • lessening pain

Benefits by Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis

Some of the benefits of physiotherapy by cerebral palsy type include:

  • Spastic - Physiotherapy can reduce the muscle tension and jerky movements associated with spastic cerebral palsy. Exercises such as stretching can even relieve stiffness over time.
  • Athetoid - People with athetoid cerebral palsy use physical therapy to increase muscle tone and gain more control over their movements.
  • Ataxic - There are exercises that can improve balance problems faced by those with ataxic cerebral palsy.


Does the NDIS fund Physiotherapy for Cerebral Palsy?

Physiotherapy is the most commonly NDIS-funded support for people with cerebral palsy. It is used to help them achieve their goals of increased mobility, access to the community and social participation.

Physiotherapists work with individuals of all ages on the following skills and more: 

  • Gross motor skills
  • Functional mobility  
  • Gait mechanics 
  • Strength 
  • Endurance 
  • Balance & coordination 
  • Equipment and orthotics training
  • Motor control and motor planning  
  • Body awareness
  • Pain relief 
  • Flexibility  


What other therapies will the NDIS fund for a person with Cerebral Palsy?

Occupational Therapy
For children with cerebral palsy, occupational therapy can help with muscle and joint coordination issues — issues that can make everyday tasks difficult.

Some of these tasks include eating, brushing teeth and bathing. 

Occupational therapy can help adults improve physical, cognitive and social abilities, as well as fine motor skills and posture.

This therapy can also help address difficulties with processing sensory information.

Speech Pathology
Some children with cerebral palsy have difficulty controlling the muscles in their face, throat, neck, and head. This can lead to trouble with speech, chewing and swallowing.

It can also cause drooling and affect overall ability to interact and learn.

Those who also have difficulty hearing may have a hard time understanding spoken language. Speech and language therapy seek to improve a child’s speech and communication by strengthening the muscles used for speech, increasing oral motor skills and by improving their understanding of speech and language. It also can help with swallowing disorders, like dysphagia.


How do I find an NDIS Cerebral Palsy Physiotherapist?

The MyCareSpace Connections Team can help you find a local physiotherapist who has availability and experience with cerebral palsy.

We can connect you with mobile, online or face-to-face physiotherapy appointments.

Ask our team to find a Physiotherapist




Our Connections Team at MyCareSpace are linked in with a range of providers offering telehealth services with availability. Let our team help you navigate the NDIS and find the right service for you.
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